Bangladesh’s beleaguered former prime minister Khaleda Zia will surrender before a court on Tuesday and seek bail in a case against her for instigating a deadly petrol bomb attack on a bus during an anti-government protest last year, her lawyer said on Sunday.
“Khaleda will surrender before the Court of Metropolitan Sessions Judge on April 5,” Sanaullah Mia, one of her lawyers, told reporters.
On March 30, the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka passed the order against the 70-year-old chairperson of the main opposition outside parliament Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP) and 27 others from her party after accepting police’s chargesheet in the case.
Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah, after accepting the charges against 38 people, including the 28, ordered Zia’s arrest in connection with the arson attack in Jatrabari area here in January last year when her party spearheaded a violent nationwide campaign to topple Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League government.
An official of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s court said that Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah passed the order and asked police to execute the warrant and submit the compliance report by April 27.
Last year, Zia was charged by police with masterminding the arson attack on the bus that left one person dead and 30 others injured, nine critically, days after Hasina said the former premier could be put on trial for recent violence.
The incident was one of many bomb attacks that Bangladesh witnessed in the three months since early January last year when the BNP-led 20-party alliance started an indefinite blockade.
The arrest order was another blow to the embattled two-time former premier, who has described previous cases, including corruption-related, against her as politically motivated and aimed at keeping her out of the country’s politics.